Ain't No Ninny

Where Creativity and Everyday Life Collide


31 Days Has December…

It’s been about a week since I blogged last. I got sick with either whopping allergies or a cold two days before Thanksgiving.  Cleaning the house, preparing the feast, and then cleaning everything up afterward took a toll on my energy and I am finally beginning to feel myself again.  And just in time too!

December is here and it has 31 days in which to create.  The late fall is full of fun and a flurry of family activities. One of the activities I decided to do this year is to keep a holiday art journal.  I feel no pressure to work in it every day or to finish a page each day, but I do want to get in the holiday mood and sustain some form of creativity for the next 4 weeks.  I plan to loosely follow prompts given in a free “12.31” holiday journal workshop sponsored by Dawn DeVries Sokol, the same person who does NaNoJouMo during November.  If you’re interested you can find it here: .

I decided to create my own journal out of cereal and cracker boxes using a technique that Dawn teaches in a workshop on .  I used two cereal boxes, two cracker boxes, a greeting card and four pieces of heavy scrapbook paper/cardstock.  I will gesso and paint or otherwise decorate each page as I use it.  Yesterday (December 1st) I started putting the journal together and today I finished the journal and decorated the cover for it.


You can see that the boxes, cards, and papers I used are different sizes.  That’s A-okay for what I will be doing.  I’m happy to re-cycle items I would otherwise throw out.


Along the right edge I deckle-cut each of the boxes to give them a little more interest.

Holiday Journal 1231

After binding all of the pages together with a needle and twine, I covered the outside spine in decorative duct tape.  I decorated the cover page with gesso, Dylusions sprays, Posca paint pens and a white gel pen.  The two snow-people are made from circles that I had painted as an exercise in a watercolor workshop a few months ago.  I kept those exercise papers just in case I wanted to use bits and pieces as collage in my art journal.  Again, re-use & recycle.

I have no idea what this journal will look like at the end of December, but I’m pretty sure I will have fun working in it.  I hope you also find something fun and creative to do during this last month of 2014!



Art Journal progress

How many art journals do I have?  Hmmmm.  I’m not sure.  I have several different sizes ranging from 4×6 to 9×12.  Some are primarily sketch books that I use for drawing and trying out new designs, some are mixed media journals and some are watercolor journals.  In some, I remove the paper from the journal pad and use it separately hoping to eventually bind the bits and pieces together into something cohesive and home-made.

I am in several different art journal groups this year as I experiment with different techniques and materials and determine where my strengths and weaknesses lie.  Many of the groups are led by artists who provide videos of their techniques and hope that you apply the techniques in your journal(s).  Others provide weekly or monthly themes/prompts along with a challenge to complete a journal page within a specified time period.  I have found that I’m in too many groups right now so I am nowhere close to keeping up with the given prompts/challenges.  But I keep coming back to them and trying them out.  That’s the best I can do and is, in fact, the right thing for me.  Moving forward, one step at a time.  By this time next year I may veer away from the structure but, for now, it helps.

In the last week I have completed four art journal pages for two different groups.

Journal52 Wk 25 Nature Inspired
Journal52, week 25, Nature Inspired (updated page I started earlier in the year), 9×12 canvas paper, collage, acrylics, gel pen, ranger ink.

Journal52 Wk 26 Under the Sea
Journal52, week 26, Under the Sea.  9×12 Watercolor paper, paper napkin and text collage, acrylics, watercolors, colored pencils, gel pens, Stabilo All pencil for shading.

Journal52 Wk 30 Positive Words
Journal52, week 30, Positive Words.  9×12 Mixed media paper, acrylics, image and text collage, gel pens for doodles, Stabilo All pencil for shading.

Creativebug Art Journal #1
Dawn Sokol’s Art Journaling class (on, week 1, Free-form doodling. 5×8 moleskine watercolor paper, Sakura gel souffle pens, black Sharpies, Pitt big brush artist pens, Uniball Signo Broad white pen.

Happy creating!